July 20, 2009

Can You Spare Seven Minutes? A Great Coping Technique for Labor

stopwatch marking seven minutes of labor

I was reading one of the many birth blogs I follow, and came across this wonderful HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean) birth story about a strong woman who worked very hard to have the birth she wanted second time around! I encourage you to head over to Women in Charge and read about this great birth! But the part that struck me most of all, that I will immediately add to my toolbox when I work with any birthing person is the following:

My mantra was that I be yoga’s corpse pose in between contractions. It worked. I slept. I had prepared by meditating on a chart given by my hypnotherapist of a typical hour of active labor – a 1.5 minute contraction divided into three equal parts is, 30-seconds rise, 30-seconds peak, 30-seconds fall. Being 3 minutes apart, as contractions usually are in this stage, means that in one hour, there is 15 minutes of contractions, only 5 of which are peak, leaving 45 minutes of absolute nothing – REST.

When you do the math, it really works out to 7 minutes/hour of peak contractions, but hey, the birthing woman was in laborland! CtxPieChart I just love this image! ONLY SEVEN MINUTES OF PEAK CONTRACTION SENSATIONS IN AN HOUR! We can do that. right? Seven minutes of hard peaky contractions in an hour! You bet, with support, and trust and patience, a birthing person can do this for an hour, and another and even another, if need be!

I can’t wait to share this mental image at my next prenatal meeting with clients! Maybe I even bring some colored pencils and paper to our prenatal, and we draw a wonderful pie chart or other representation of the seven peak minutes of contractions that occur in an hour of labor!

I will let you know how it is received. And I would love to hear your favorite visualization tip that works well for your clients. Share with me and let me learn!

Sharon Muza Doula Educator Trainer



Through a deep understanding of evidence based information and best practices, a dose of humor and a respect for individual choices, I have been able to build a successful and satisfying career for almost two decades. From Birth Doula Trainings to Lamaze Childbirth Classes and TENS Machines for Labor Pain, be sure to explore my offerings to find the support you need.